Sales of netbooks and CULV notebooks expected to increase this year

It looks like people are still buying computers. Research firm iSuppli Corp believes that netbooks and Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage (CULV) notebooks are poised for significant growth in 2010. Notebook PC shipments overall are expected to hit 209.5 million this year, up 25.5% from last year. In particular, sales of netbooks, or smaller and cheaper versions of a notebook, are expected to grow 30% to 34.5 million units. Meanwhile, CULV notebook sales are expected to reach 14.5 million units this year, a whopping 93% increase.

CULV notebooks are a fairly new concept introduced by Intel in 2009. Nonetheless, the low voltage CPU concept seems to have caught on pretty well, and Intel is planning on shipping new ultra low voltage Core i7 CPUs sometime this fall. Examples of current low voltage notebooks include the Asus UL30A and the Dell Z-series Inspirons.

In the netbook market, shipments are expected to reach 58 million units by 2014. Currently, Taiwan-based Acer is the leading manufacturer in this segment with a 37% market share. They are followed closely by Asus in second, then HP, Samsung, and Dell. Combined, these top five companies accounted for 90% of netbook shipments in 2009.

The third segment of the market, the regular notebooks, still commands the largest shipments with 160.5 million units expected in 2010. However, this is only a 21% growth from 132.9 million last year. Nonetheless, any growth is certainly welcome in this economy, and leading notebook manufacturers like Acer, HP, and Dell will benefit significantly from this expansion.